I was addicted to Roxy, Fentanyl, Xanax, heroin, coke, Seraquel, and Dilaudid. Then Suboxone for pain.
I became very depressed when I was 18. I turned to alcohol to self-medicate because it was legal and easy to get. It was a terrible decision and what followed was a terrible time. Luckily, one great day I discovered cannabis; I quit drinking the very next day. But things got bad and my addictions only got worse – soon I was in all sorts of pain and would be on suboxone.
Five months after defeating alcohol, I was prescribed 150 Roxy (30mg) and 60 Xanax (2mg), for pain. I feel like I became an addict from the get-go. After a year, I was snorting, smoking, and shooting the pills.
I eventually used Suboxone to quit the Roxy (more than once). And rehab (more than once). Nothing worked. And my doctor just kept giving me Roxy and Xanax whenever I asked for them. So, what followed was 8 years of Roxy, Xanax, Seraquel, heroin, coke, crack, Fentanyl, and Dilaudid. It was hell.
Redoubled Efforts to Quit Suboxone For Pain
On January 31st, 2010, my great uncle died and I inherited $40,000. It felt like this was fate, a new start. So, I redoubled my efforts to quit. I got back on the Suboxone and smoked the cannabis religiously. This time, it took and it’s been 7.5 years since I touched opiates!
Cannabis has helped me with my physical pain and mental struggles. If not for cannabis, I would never have stayed clean. I used the inheritance to move to Denver, get legal, and I have never felt better.
I know that one big roadblock to getting well using cannabis is money (plus the legal). If it was legal to grow, we’d all be getting our medicine. In Denver, I got a job as a trimmer and I loved it so much! There was nothing better than watching it grow and trimming it nice.
I currently live in Naples, Florida to help my mom after a nasty divorce. We’re selling the house and moving to Colorado. It’s awful living in Florida. They don’t sell anything but CBD pills that aren’t worth the money. I still smoke my wax everyday because if I didn’t, I’d be looking for Roxy…
Cannabis for Addiction: A Counter-Intuitive solution?
Many long time cannabis advocates may deny it, but cannabis can be addictive for some people. Officially known as cannabis use disorder, or cannabis dependence, it is possible to form an unhealthy relationship with cannabis use. As per an early estimate in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, “the lifetime prevalence rate for cannabis dependence is approximately 4%.” While a relatively low risk, the risk is there. Agosti, V., Nunes, E., & Levin, F. (2002). Rates of Psychiatric Comorbidity Among U.S. Residents with Lifetime Cannabis Dependence. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 28(4), … Continue reading
So how can cannabis be such a useful tool for some as they try to kick addictions to pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs? As the above patient story details, cannabis helped him get off of dangerous addictions after years of failure. Can this plant actually help beat challenging chemical dependence?
Cannabis for Beating Addictions
Studies, although preliminary, indicate certain cannabinoids can help reduce some of the cravings, anxieties, and other challenges of addiction, especially during the period of withdrawal. With more research, it could help people reduce the need for opioids, including Suboxone, for pain.
In one study, published in late 2019, researchers discovered CBD was useful for some patients during heroin withdrawal. It is an essential addition to the literature, as it was an exploratory double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial looking at both short term and long term effects. Hurd, Y. L., Spriggs, S., Alishayev, J., Winkel, G., Gurgov, K., Kudrich, C., … Salsitz, E. (2019). Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals … Continue reading
As the paper concluded, CBD “significantly reduced both craving and anxiety induced by the presentation of salient drug cues compared with neutral cues.” Furthermore, the benefits continued in the long term. After three consecutive days of dosing, the benefits of CBD continued for seven days. Considering the known safety profile of CBD, this research presents an excellent alternative option for the treatment of addiction.
A Word of Caution on Suboxone and Cannabis
Based on the above testimonial, the patient reports beating his addictions with Suboxone and cannabis. But a word of warning is needed here, as combining these two compounds isn’t well understood. If you are using Suboxone for pain, you need to know the risks if you choose to combine with another substance, even cannabis.
Should anyone decide to treat addiction, especially with methadone, Suboxone, or another opioid replacement therapy, it is vital to work with a healthcare professional. Technically, all opioids, even Suboxone for pain, are depressants. Cannabis is also a depressant. Combining may create unforeseen complications. It’s best to seek a professional opinion and create a holistic treatment plan before mixing Suboxone with other medications, even medical cannabis.
|↑1||Agosti, V., Nunes, E., & Levin, F. (2002). Rates of Psychiatric Comorbidity Among U.S. Residents with Lifetime Cannabis Dependence. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 28(4), 643–652. doi: 10.1081/ada-120015873.|
|↑2||Hurd, Y. L., Spriggs, S., Alishayev, J., Winkel, G., Gurgov, K., Kudrich, C., … Salsitz, E. (2019). Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(11), 911–922. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191.|